A Charmed Life

I remember a passage from Nelson DeMille’s The General’s Daughter:

“What’s worse than rape? Betrayal.”

I wish to God I didn’t understand every syllable of that.

Rape caused me to question the justice of the world, the inherent trustworthiness of my fellow human. It certainly caused me to question whether I wanted to interact with people. It definitely started me on my path to introversion and complete self-reliance, revulsion at the idea of dependence on another, the complete rejection of anything that I could not procure for myself by my own efforts. It certainly was the beginning of my contentious relationship with my world, my belief that everything I wanted was only to be won in hand-to-hand combat with all of mankind. But rape never caused me to question my own value. It never caused me to consider whether I was a vessel worthy of the human life I possessed. It never caused me to grieve that there was no light left in the world. It never caused me seriously to consider ending my own life. Rape never brought to agonizing over the question, “If I am valuable, how could someone I trusted so completely, loved so intensely, valued so highly, invested in so deeply throw away everything that I am so casually? They cannot both be true.”

At the time, rape was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, but the things since showed me what a charmed fucking life I lived in those years. Somehow there’s comfort in that that I am at a loss to explain.

Sometimes you take hope where you find it, even if it makes no sense.

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I used to think

I used to think that…

…the reason betrayal angered me was that I was too weak to forgive.

…true strength was subordinating my needs to the needs of everyone around me and being satisfied with it.

…long hair on a man could be sexy under the right circumstances.

…Mr. Spock was hawt.

…God would forgive murder but not divorce.

…as long as I lived up to religious and familial expectations, the family and the church would support me in a crisis.

…I should correct other’s misunderstandings of my motives.

…if I could just lose those 10 pounds, I’d be completely satisfied with my body.

…eventually I’d figure out why the socks never come out even once all the laundry is done

 

 

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The Choice

The Strength:

 

There was once a man who refused to obey his king and was sentenced to die. Before his sentence could be carried out, the man escaped and ran into the forest. He met a lion with a thorn in his paw. The man pulled the thorn out. As the lion was licking his paw, he said, “I am grateful to you. I will never forget what you have done. You will always be my friend.”

 

Soon after the man was captured by the king’ soldiers and brought back to face his death sentence in the arena. As the crowds roared, the lion leaped out of his cage. Each – the lion and the man – recognized the friend he had made. The lion returned to his den, leaving the man unharmed.

 

 

 

The Weakness:

 

It was bitterly cold as the farmer climbed the path to the high hills to check on his livestock. A rattlesnake lay across the path, nearly frozen.

 

“Please,” begged the snake, “take me down where it is warmer. Or I shall surely freeze to death.”

 

“I don’t think so,” said the Farmer. “I would be a fool to trust you.”

 

But the snake pleaded. “If you will do this thing, I promise that I will not hurt you.”

 

Having compassion upon the snake, the farmer picked him up and carried him down into the valley and laid him down upon the ground. As the snake warmed up, he wiggled and stretched. He coiled himself up and struck the farmer.

 

“Why did you bite me?” cried the farmer. “You gave me your word not to harm me.”

 

“Ah,” said the snake, “but you knew what I was when you picked me up.”

 

The Choice

The lion loved out of strength, the serpent betrayed out of weakness, and that is the critical issue of these two. The men in the stories had the same choices: to trust or not to trust a known predator, and each chose the same. Once each made his choice the consequences were out of his hands. The lion and the snake also had the same choices. The lion, a predator by nature, chose loyalty out of strength, not because he had no other choice and not because it was in his nature to do so. The other chose to rationalize the weakness of his betrayal with the excuse that the man knew the risks of trusting a predator. “It is your fault because you knew I could be treacherous. I am not responsible for my actions or the results of them because of my nature.”

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Greatest Hits

That New Year’s Eve many years ago that at the time seemed like just another evening with a little excitement, but through the prism of time has oddly begun to encapsulate an entire decade for me. That evening was just so “1980’s”, it would have been impossible to reproduce it in another time.

December 31, 1984, it was approaching midnight and the party was at our house, as it usually was, and consisted mostly of the other men from my father’s unit and their families. We had chosen to live “on the economy” about 60 km from the base in central Germany. I was aware of snippets of conversation around me that were fairly normal…

….my father with a group of his colleagues bantering in inscrutable pilot humor..”…so they’re screaming across the desert and their radio man says, ‘tower, we don’t know where in the bloody hell we’re going, but we’re making damn good time’….” hyark hyark hyark.

…a pair of women conversing…”I tried to find the same inlaid like I got at the OWC bazaar last year…”

…a lady gritching to another wife….”…since we have to replace our ration cards AGAIN…”

                                                                        BOOM!!!!!

A noise so loud it was nearly inaudible freezes all activity. For a moment all was silent and then there were the sounds of children and a woman screaming. I pulled my hands away from my face where instinct had pulled them to see shards of glass and blood dripping from my hands and arms. All around me were the remnants of every window in the house and shards of the hyper-effective “rolladen” that had been splintered by the explosion.

My mind provided an immediate explanation: “Bomb. War. It’s finally happened.”

We’d all spent the last years being trained and retrained in what to do in the event that the cold war heated up. Terrorist threats were so commonplace to our everyday lives that checking our cars for explosive devices was just another checklist item and hours upon hours of waiting in the snow in the soccer field for the school to be checked for bombs taught me never to go anywhere without my coat. Now it was real. Somehow I always knew it would be.

Once I’d gotten my head in order, I noticed my father was already on the phone and several of the men had begun to collect people from other rooms to organize everyone into family groups and take a head count. The younger children were scared but it seemed everyone else knew what he was supposed to do. I fit into the group as part of the older child and teenager segment and our job was to stay calm, and out of the way.

But I noticed there was one woman….at least she had stopped screaming, but now she was yammering hysterically, “This is what we get for putting that RETARD in the Whitehouse!!! How long have I been saying that idiot Reagan was going to get us ALL KILLED!!!….” I thought, “Lady, this is precisely the wrong crowd at exactly the wrong time to be badmouthing the Commander in Chief.” Apparently, her husband thought so as well because he was whispering to her in attempts to calm her down. They were accepted and loved but they had always been, well, peculiar. He was a civilian contractor. He actually wore a beard; she couldn’t discern rank or unit from a uniform. Odd.

“….Major Proctor’s trying to get through to the base to find out about our orders…”

Someone had turned on the radio…“You’re listening to Armed Forces Network. It’s twelve o’clock in Central Europe. Do you know where your children are? Beep beep…..The Red Cross is attempting to reach …” Red Cross travel searches, Charlie Toona, Top 40 music? AFN was broadcasting nothing on the bombing? How was this possible? It had to have been at least 15 minutes.

My father, “The base has nothing on this. Security level is normal.”

The sound of sirens, every police car, ambulance, fire truck for miles disturbs the German night, a truly rare occurrence. We followed the direction of the emergency vehicles down the street and gazed down the hill to see….where just this morning had stood the three story, 30,000 sf Feuerwerkfabrik, fireworks factory, now was an empty charred field, miscellaneous chunks of burning hadite, and the warehouses which were set apart from the main building were emitting the most spectacular fireworks display ever hosted. We stood for many minutes watching the greens, blues, reds, laughing at our assumption, and breathing in the relief. We would not be sending our men off to war. This time.

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A New Model

When we lived in Germany, during my HS days, my father worked in a small unit.  It was one Lt Colonel, six Majors, one Tech Sgt.  Everybody knew each other and their families.  At one point, there was a change of command.  The new Lt Col was a real Robert Conrad type: small, tenacious, charismatic.  300 pounds of TNT in a 170 pound package.  We got to know him, his pretty young wife, and his funny little dog reasonably well.  There were the picnics, the office Christmas party.  When he had been in the unit maybe 9-10 months, he took leave in the States for a couple of weeks.  Shortly after they got back, they had a dinner party, sort of a house warming to show off the new place they’d moved into.  There’s the Colonel, the pretty young wife, the funny little dog, the new house.  

Except.  

It wasn’t the same….wife.

They never said crap about that.  Not, “I’d like you to meet my new wife. “Not, “Heh, I ditched the ole bag at a truck stop.”  Not, “Traded in for a new model.”  Nada.  Nobody said one word about it.

For the first half hour I looked around suspiciously, thinking, “I could SWEAR that’s not the same woman.  And, see! He called her Lisa.  The other one was Kate.  But…why is nobody else wondering?”  Of course, if your commanding officer doesn’t want to talk about trading in his wife, then I guess you let it go, but it was interesting.  Like, maybe, there was hidden camera pranking us to see who would be the first to say that the Emperor was naked.

But now I completely understand: The more you explain yourself, the less people understand you

And, more importantly, it couldn’t matter less.  

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Choose Your Resonance

“Everything is energy.”

(attributed to) Albert Einstein.

 

The better you feel, the better you do, and the better you do, the better you feel.

There is a concept in physics, called “resonance”, that is simple in explanation and infinite in its ability to explain.

Resonance is the tendency of a system to move (or transfer energy) easier at some frequencies than at others, specifically at whatever frequency is most natural to that system.  Wiki gives a great example of resonance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonance) which I paraphrase now with huge, unapologetic poetic license:

(ahem)

If you push a swing at its natural resonance point (at the point that it is naturally paused to begin the other direction in its pendulum), your push transfers a greater amount of energy and produces greater effect, or “resonance”, than if you attempt to push anywhere else in the cycle.  The energy is transferred more easily, but more than that, it produces synergy, that phenomenon of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, with no more effort on any one of the parts.

If two people would have to work 2 days each to get something done, then the task would require 4 man-days to do it individually.  However, if by cooperation, the task can be done in 3 days, that’s synergy.  That’s resonance.

You see this everywhere.

Tap a tuning fork, and you will (if the tuning fork is pure) hear one solid, true frequency. No matter how many times the fork is tapped, it will produce that, and only that, frequency.  If you tap two tuning forks of the same frequency and bring them within the range of their individual vibrational spheres of influence, you will hear an amplification of the frequency they naturally emit (the sound is louder than the two tuning forks would individually produce) but you will also hear the frequency of exactly one octave above that – an event that would never, until the end of time, happen with only one fork.  If the two tuning forks are exceptionally well tuned, you may hear an octave below and two octaves above as well.  Add a third fork, and the phenomenon amplifies.  The number of octaves produced is limited only by the purity of the frequencies of the tuning forks.  This can also be done with human voices.  The closer the voices are to producing the same frequency, the more amplification, or resonance, will be produced

And

*the longer this frequency is produced, the more pure it becomes*

All of us are energy, and energy wants to resonate.  We bring our frequencies into alignment with the frequencies around us in order to resonate.  Resonance is the natural state.  This is accomplished both consciously and subconsciously.  

Resonance is accomplished on a cellular level.  The heart of an animal functions on a cellular level, rather than on a whole-organ level, which is why if part of the heart muscle is damaged, the remainder will still function.  These cells continue to operate for a while even after the organism as a whole no longer lives.  Anyone who’s ever hunted an animal for food knows this: the heart continues to beat even after the animal is dead.  If a few cells of the heart are separated from the whole, those cells will continue to beat even longer. I observed an experiment in college where the cells of a recently-deceased frog were removed and placed in a Petri dish, and they continued to beat.  Then the cells of another frog’s heart were placed in the same Petri dish (with some sort of saline solution to facilitate communication), and at first, the two groups of cells beat according to their own frequency, but quickly, they came into alignment and began to beat at the same frequency.

Nature expects resonance.  Nature orchestrates resonance.  Nature demands resonance.

Resonance is accomplished on spiritual level.  We, all of us, emit many frequencies.  At any given time, we emit frequencies of hope, belief, doubt, fear, trust, assurance, understanding, abundance, lack ….

You see where I’m going with this?

That’s right.  

Whatever frequencies you emit that are validated by other frequencies, those are the frequencies that will be amplified.

Here’s the best part: 

You choose which frequencies you can have resonated.

You choose you own resonance.

“Whenever I talk to (insert here: “Susan” or “the people on that website” or “the people at church”), I (“feel hopeless” or “am frustrated because they stubbornly refuse to understand what I’m saying” or “feel like I can do and feel and accomplish anything” or “feel like things always just work out for me”.)

You choose to perpetuate whatever frequencies are produced by your activities, your thoughts, your habits, you fellowships.

 

And, more importantly, the universe always gives you what you repeatedly ask for.

 

(Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find…”)

(Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”)

 

 

If participating in “discussion” on so-and-so’s page makes you feel hopeless, frustrated, misunderstood, and you continue to go to so-and-so’s page, then you are repeatedly asking the universe for hopelessness, frustration, misunderstanding.  Expect to receive it.

It might be worth your effort to ask yourself “Why do I WANT those things?” (Is it because you need to feel validated in your frustration or low-self esteem? Is it because you fear what is on the other side of frustration – hopelessness perhaps?) Or it might not be worth it.  

Maybe it’s time simply to let all that go and ask for different things.

Ask for peace.  Ask for comfort.  Ask for happiness.

The universe WILL give it to you.

“It is your faith that has healed you,” and there is no limit to what your faith can do.

(Mark 10:52, Luke 7:50, Mark 5:34, Luke 17:6)

Go and be healed.

 

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Awesome Veggie-Cheesy Crusty Pizza

Awesome Veggie-Cheesy Crusty Pizza.

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